NBA Power Rankings: Bucks top post trade deadline edition Report: Gary Payton II fails physical putting four-team trade in jeopardy Siakam, Fox, Edwards named All-Star Game injury replacements Anthony Davis pushes back on viral video of him seeming disinterested in LeBron’s record Three things to Know: Players to watch on the buyout market
The Milwaukee Bucks have won nine in a row and added a quality player to the trade deadline in Jay Crowder — which puts them at the top of this week’s NBC Sports NBA Power Rankings, post-trade deadline edition.
1. Bucks (38-17, #3 last week) Winners in nine games in a row, mostly with defense – a defense that is about to get better with the addition of Jay Crowder at the deadline. “I just feel like Jay is a winner at the end of the day,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “His teams are either in the Conference Finals or the NBA Finals, it seems, every year for the last five or six years. You just look up and he plays. And there’s a reason, you know, I think his stamina, his defense, what he does on this end of the court is special, and also his shooting and his offensive IQ. He does a lot of things that are related to winning.”
2. Celtics (39-16, HB 2) Boston took a small step towards the trade deadline by bringing in an experienced big man. Mike Muscala from the Thunder, and it’s all about the playoffs. It’s not about Muscala running a lot in the postseason (he’ll probably be the winning cigar), it’s about getting Robert Williams III and Al Horford in the playoffs healthy. Otherwise, Boston has a tight schedule, five games in a row, and Muscala is the kind of solid veteran Joe Mazzulla can trust to excel in these games and keep key players rested in the games that matter in April. There’s a big test ahead of the All-Star break against the Grizzlies and Bucks.
3. 76ers (34-19, LW 1). Jalen McDaniels located in and Matisse Tibull Eliminated in a four-team trade to the 76ers. McDaniels is a 6’9″ forward who is a good defender (not as good as Tybull, but good) who brings in more offensive juice than the guy he replaces (37.4% of 3 this season can complete through the contact at the ring). Philadelphia’s schedule looks a lot easier this week after the deadline, they’ll have a tough game against the Knicks but then get a refreshed Nets without Durant. After the All-Star break, the Sixers will be tested by a busy schedule.
4. Cavaliers (35-22, LW 5). One of the few teams that doesn’t do anything at the trade deadline, and it makes a lot of sense: The front office loves their young team and wants to see how it looks in the playoff pot before making changes. Cavs don’t redeem Kevin LoveOr he will stick around. Evan Mobley He’s been playing better lately (after a flat start to the season), averaging 18.9 points per game on 54% shooting (plus six rebounds per night) over the past 10 games. The Cavaliers have a tough week ahead of them and should have some wins.
5. Nuggets (38-18, LW 4). Denver made a good upgrade to the right position in the deadline – Bones Highland outside and in the center Thomas Bryant is in after the trade from the Lakers. Bryant has been a fan favorite in Los Angeles as a big offensive player, and he should be able to give the Nuggets 15 minutes a day off the bench while Nikola Jokic gets some rest. If the Nuggets need another point guard, there are plenty of them on the buyout market. On the court, the Nuggets have won 4 of 6 and are on their way to the All-Star break, and next Monday against the Heat looks interesting.
6. Grizzlies (33-21, HB 7). The Grizzlies lost 8 out of 10, no one was afraid of them, and although they made a nice little move – they brought in a sniper Luke Kennard — The West was hit by an influx of elite talent like Durant and Irving. CJ McCollum thought it was some kind of karmic retribution for I am Morant saying that he was not afraid of anyone in the West. Memphis needs a few wins, and spending one Sunday in Boston won’t be easy.
It’s all because @JaMorant said that he was fine in the West 😂😂😂
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) February 9, 2023
7. Grids (33-22, DV 6). In a matter of days, the era of the Nets’ superstars was over, collapsing under the weight of their own expectations and the egos of the players. Kyrie Irving And Kevin Duran gone, but the Nets aren’t rebuilding from the ground up—they have a roster of good role players that other teams will covet in future trading windows, plus they’ve replenished their supply of draft picks. Plus, with 27 games to go, the Nets have 3.5 games to spare for the top 6 seeds and 6.5 games to make the postseason play-in. That is, these Nets will play after the end of the season, they do not fall out of the playoffs (and the playoffs are quite possible).
8. Heat (30-25, DV 8).While Miami dumped a lot of tires on the retail market, things are back to normal. Kyle Lowry. The Heat tried to find him a new home, but no one was willing, including the Nets, who liked Durant’s massive Suns package better than Miami’s Lowry’s. The Heat made a small deal with Duane Dedmon to make room in the cap and list space, which could allow them to make moves in the buyout market. Miami has several winning games to help break the record this week against Houston and Orlando, and the Heat should be focused on the teams they need to beat, not what they’ve been doing consistently this season.
9. Kings (31-23, DX 9). Sacramento became part of Brooklyn. Kessler Edwards a pay cut because Edwards showed potential as a defensive winger and it was a good roll of the dice for a young low-cost player (cheaper than Matisse Tibull, who the Kings also discussed but didn’t land). Sacramento persevered, going 4-3 on their 7-game road trip, and the team is now home for two games against the Dallas Mavericks in a new guise, games that will make a big difference in the West when it comes to the playoffs. . /game seeding.
10. Mavericks (30-26, LV 11). It was a desperation move that could backfire in the long run, but adding Kyrie Irving to the roster with Luka Doncic could lead to the most dynamic offense in the NBA for the rest of the season (and beyond if they re-sign him). ). We’re talking about two elite shot makers, and Irving has shown time and time again that he knows how to play off the ball with a superstar. Defensively – The Mavericks were already in the bottom 10 and just traded their top defenseman. How far can they go just by trying to outplay teams?
11. Suns (30-27, DW 15). Give Matt Ishbia credit not only for being the new owner and wanting to make a splash, but also for being willing to pay for a challenger in a way that Sarver wouldn’t – adding that Kevin Durant adds $45 million to the payroll. payroll and luxury taxes this season and he jumped with both feet. The main four of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul And Deandre Ayton it’s a threat to get out of the West, but they need to get stops (Ayton has to be the rim guard he flashes) and some of the role players outside of that four have to step up. The roster is small right now (which could be fixed this summer), but the Suns are now the favorite to bet in the West. And not in vain.
12. Clippers (31-27, LV 13). The Clippers did what they set out to do at the trade deadline, they changed the point guard rotation. Eric Gordon and Bones Highland – and they have some depth in the center in Mason Plumlee. Does it make the Clippers better? slightly. But this does not change the main problem – this team needs as much time as possible in the coming months to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the rest of the rotation is playing games and developing good habits. Because now they do not have enough of those to win the playoffs. However, they hold on to the top five in the West. By the way, did we know Norman Powell could do it?
Julius Randle poster by Norman Powell 😱 pic.twitter.com/WDnGiAxeLi
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 5, 2023
13. Warriors (28-27, LW 10). It wasn’t easy to give up a former No. 2 pick, but the Warriors are an unbeatable team and James Wiseman just not on that timeline. It was the right move, as was the return Gary Payton II to add depth and much-needed rotation protection. Stephen Curry “weeks” due to a calf injury (probably about a month, the Warriors hope less). The Warriors have gone 8-8 this season with Curry seated and if they can keep playing at the same level they should be able to keep their heads above the water until he comes back (then maybe the Warriors) can flip the switch).
14. Knicks (30-26, LV 12) It was the deadline for an exchange that Tom Thibodeau had to like. Cam reddish went out and Josh Hart Reddish has never matched Thibodeau (or in his previous stops), but he has a chance in Portland while Josh Hart reunites with teammate Villanova. Jalen Brunson. Hart is a great role player on both sides that Thibodeau can trust.
@jalenbrunson1 retirement ceremony after jersey @joshhart was sold for @nicnikx pic.twitter.com/bffT3HFzaA
— 🏀Nova Hoops (@Capj1344) February 9, 2023
15. Pelicans (29-27, DX 19). New Orleans added some veteran stability to the trade deadline by introducing Josh Richardson like a 3&D wing that won’t shake by the moment. The Pelicans as an organization relied on guys who had spent at least three years in college: CJ McCollum, Larry Nancy Jr.herb jones, Jose Alvarado And now Richardson. Brandon Ingram starting to feel comfortable again, and it’s no coincidence that the Pelicans have won three games in a row, and there are still three games ahead – the Cavaliers, Thunder and Lakers, which can give them a little boost before the All-Star break.
16. Timberwolves (30-28, LV 16) D’Angelo Russell and his game in the first place was not suitable for this line-up, and especially for Rudy Gobert (there was some tension). Veteran point guard Mike Conley should be better, he is a point guard and a high level general who can guide this team on the court and a slightly better defender than Russell (not a high bar). The All-Star Game is going to be tough…